What is the role of surgery in the treatment of shoulder dislocation?

Updated: Nov 29, 2018
  • Author: Sharon R Wilson, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Primary surgical repair of initial acute traumatic shoulder dislocations in young adults engaged in highly demanding physical activities (eg, sports, military) is supported by a Cochrane Database Systematic Review of 5 randomized, controlled studies. [36] Subsequent shoulder instability was significantly less frequent in the surgical group (relative risk, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.11-0.33), with half of the conservatively treated patients opting for subsequent surgery. Functional assessment measures of the shoulder were also more favorable in those treated surgically. Since this demographic group is at far greater risk of recurrent dislocation, these results cannot be generalized to other groups.

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